The tour takes place in the "Indian Channel" near Felix's marina and Gun Shop. If you do not own your own kayak this would be a great place to try one out. Felix's is located at 14023 Green Street, Robinson Township. Felix's Marina is also the location of Lakeshore Kayak rental. Here single kayaks can be rented for $25.00 for one hour or $35.00 for a whole day. Tandem Kayaks/Canoes can be rented for $45 for one hour or $65 for a whole day. The rental includes a personal flotation device, and paddle. Call Lakeshore at (616) 566-1325 to schedule a kayak rental. Lakeshore kayak is open 7 days a week during summer and on weekends in May and October.

Other options for Access to this area of the river include the Odawa/Battle Point boat launch on the south bank of the river, and the Indian Channel boat launch on the north bank of the River. Odawa/Battle Point boat launch is located at the end of 144th Ave off Mercury Dr. The Indian Channel boat access is located at the end of 144th Ave where 138th Ave turns into Garfield St and then into 144th Ave off Leonard St.

The tour is completed as an out and back paddle. This allows the trip to be taken using only one vehicle making it more convenient. This also allows an open time frame as the kayaker can turn around and head back at any point. Some of this trip will involve paddling upstream. The difficulty rate is very low for paddling upstream in this area due to the slow current of the river.

Looking at a map of this area, notice what is happening to the Grand River as it approaches its destination in Lake Michigan. As the river makes one of its final bends the current slows near the mouth of the Grand River and water is backed-up and forced into multiple bayous. The conditions provided by this flooded river mouth create what are known as emergent wetlands, and sub-emergent wetlands.

The tour begins in Stearns Bayou. Stearn's Bayou figured prominently in the early commercial development of the area. Around 1865 a float bridge was built over the bayou with a 150' section which swung out to allow timber to be floated through enroute to the mills in Grand Haven. The Float Bridge at Stearns Bayou was named for a former governor of Michigan.

A horse tram railway built to bring the logs to the head of the bayou from the forest of the "Big Marsh" south of M-45 it still leaves its traces. Over 100,000,000 feet of timber went through until 1889 when Charles E. Stearns was contracted and sank the entire length of the bridge by loading it with pine logs to 9 feet above the water and surfacing it with sand. (History of Robinson Township, 1856 - 1956, by Miss Helen Clark)

The present bridge was built in 1966 and was the first hot galvanized bridge in the United States.

An old log shanty located about a mile south of Green Street was converted into Clark School in 1864. It is named for beloved teacher Helen Clark. In 1869, a new frame building was constructed, but in 1875 this school was dismantled and moved to its present site on Stearns Bayou. It was used until 1914, when part of the building was moved to Felix's Place and converted into a home.

There are a variety of options to pick when starting at this location. If you are an experienced paddler we encourage you to study the map and plan your route. Otherwise you can choose from one of our two super popular paddles that start out from Felix's.

The first popular paddle is paddling out and back to Pottawatomie Park. The paddle is approximately 1 hour and 45 minute there and back. The Park is excellent for families offering: 2 play areas, sand pit, full restroom facilities, covered pavilions, multiple picnic tables, swim area, fishing dock, volleyball area and small launch for kayaks/canoes.
The paddle starts leaving Felix's heading towards the river, away from the Green St. Bridge. As you leave Stearn's Bayou head west (towards your left). After a short paddle you will reach the first bayou, Little Robinson Bayou. Continue along as the river bends north.

The next bayou on the left will be Pottawatomie Bayou. Pottawatomie Park is located at about the half way point of the bayou, on the north side (right side as you enter). When you get closer you will notice the covered shelters, fishing dock, and playground areas.

The second popular paddle is and out and back paddle to Little Robinson Bayou. Depending on how deep into the Bayou you decide to paddle this trip can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and forty-five minutes. This is a popular paddle because it feels remote, and private.

This bayou is quite shallow, approximately 6-8 feet deep including a shallow entrance, making it difficult for motor boats to enter. Couples love to explore, swim and explore this area. The bayou offers excellent fishing as most boats are unable to get into the bayou. At the farthest ends of the bayou, away from the river, there is a variety of emergent and submergent wetlands that provide amazing vegetation, flowering plants, and wildlife.

If you paddle from the Indian Channel boat access we recommend paddling downstream to visit the lotus blossoms in July through August. The leaves of the Lotus plant are highly water repellent (superhydrophobic). Try splashing water up onto the leaf and watch as it beads off. No matter how much you splash the leaf will stay dry.

If you have any questions regarding kayaking in this area, contact Lakeshore Kayak. ACA certified kayak instructors are on hand to answer any questions you might have. Lakeshore Kayak can also help you with other Grand River kayak trips as they provide shuttle services for group paddles all along the Grand River.